Hugging the banks of the Lundeelva River, Søgne is a picturesque town in Norway’s far south that became part of the Kristiansand municipality. It’s home to a charming 16th-century church and located on the doorstep of a German-built military fortification that once guarded the western entrance to Kristiansand.
Things to do in Søgne
One of the most significant landmarks in Søgne is the Old Søgne Church, which stands as the oldest half-timbered church in Norway. Dating back to 1580, it features several beautiful Baroque and Renaissance paintings and regularly hosts concerts in the summer. It’s also famed amongst locals as the place where the Norwegian Nobel Prize-winning author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson married his wife Karoline in 1858.
Adjacent to the Old Søgne Church is the Old Vicarage where Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s father once lived. The building serves as a cultural centre, with a two-metre-high rune stone standing outside. Coincide your visit with a live performance or exhibition, then learn about the region’s rural history and traditions at the on-site Søgne Museum.
A short boat ride off the coast of Søgne takes you to Ny-Hellesund, where a fortress known as “Norway’s Little Gibraltar” was established by the Germans in the 1940s. Learn about its construction by the hands of Russian POWs as you explore the restored trenches and tunnels, with several of the original Schneider coastal artillery guns on display.
Getting around Søgne
Søgne is around 25 minutes’ drive from Kristiansund and 45 minutes from Kristiansand Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Buses are the main means of getting to and from Søgne, with the centre of the town compact enough to explore on foot.